Interpreting Nature: The Emerging Field of Environmental Hermeneutics

Interpreting Nature: The Emerging Field of Environmental Hermeneutics


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Modern environmentalism has come to realize that many of its key concerns—“wilderness” and “nature” among them—are contested territory, viewed differently by different people. Understanding nature requires science and ecology, to be sure, but it also requires a sensitivity to history, culture, and narrative. Thus, understanding nature is a fundamentally hermeneutic task.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780823254255
Publisher: Fordham University Press
Publication date: 11/11/2013
Series: Groundworks: Ecological Issues in Philosophy and Theology
Pages: 400
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 9.00(h) x 1.20(d)

About the Author

Brian Treanor (Author)
Brian Treanor is Professor of Philosophy and Director of Environmental Studies at Loyola Marymount University. He is the author of Aspects of Alterity (Fordham, 2006) and Emplotting Virtue (SUNY Press, 2014), and the coeditor of A Passion for the Possible (Fordham University Press, 2010), Interpreting Nature (Fordham University Press, 2013), and Being-in-Creation (Fordham University Press, 2015). Current projects include the development of an “earthy” hermeneutics, and a monograph on the experience of joy.

Martin Drenthen (Author)
Martin Drenthen is associate professor of philosophy at Radboud University Nijmegen (The Netherlands). He is the author of Old World and New World Pespective in Environmental Philosophy. Together with Jozef Keulartz and Jim Proctor, he coedited New Visions of Nature: Complexity and Authenticity. In English and Dutch publications, he has written about the significance of Nietzsche’s critique of morality for environmental ethics, the concept of wildness in debates on ecological restoration, and ethics of place. His most recent research focuses on the relationship between landscapes, cultures of place, and moral identity.

David Utsler (Author)
David Utsler is a PhD candidate at the University of North Texas in the Department of Philosophy and Religion Studies. His current areas of research focus on hermeneutics, critical theory, and their application to environmental philosophy. He has published essays in environmental hermeneutics and presented several conference papers on environmental hermeneutics and environmental justice. He is currently working on a manuscript (along with Robert Melchior Figueroa of UNT) on the application of hermeneutics to environmental justice studies and activism.

Table of Contents

Introduction: Environmental Hermeneutics
David Utsler, Forrest Clingerman, Martin Drenthen, and Brian Treanor

Part I: Interpretation and the Task of Thinking Environmentally
1. Hermeneutics Deep in the Woods
John van Buren
2. Morrow's Ants: E. O. Wilson and Gadamer's Critique of (Natural) Historicism
Mick Smith
3. Layering: Body, Building, Biography
Robert Mugerauer
4. Might Nature Be Interpreted as a "Saturated Phenomenon"?
Christina M. Gschwandtner
5. Must Environmental Philosophy Relinquish the Concept of Nature? A Hermeneutic Reply to Steven Vogel
W. S. K. Cameron

Part II: Situating the Self
6. Environmental Hermeneutics and Environmental/Eco-Psychology: Explorations in Environmental Identity
David Utsler
7. Environmental Hermeneutics With and For Others: Ricoeur's Ethics and the Ecological Self
Nathan Bell
8. Bodily Moods and Unhomely Environments: The Hermeneutics of Agoraphobia and the Spirit of Place
Dylan Trigg

Part III: Narrativity and Image
9. Narrative and Nature: Appreciating and Understanding the Nonhuman World
Brian Treanor
10. The Question Concerning Nature
Sean McGrath
11. New Nature Narratives: Landscape Hermeneutics and Environmental Ethics
Martin Drenthen

Part IV: Environments, Place, and the Experience of Time
12. Memory, Imagination, and the Hermeneutics of Place
Forrest Clingerman
13. The Betweenness of Monuments
Janet Donohoe
14. My Place in the Sun
David Wood
15. How Hermeneutics Might Save the Life of (Environmental) Ethics
Paul Van Tongeren and Paulien Snellen

A Bibliographic Overview of Research in Environmental Hermeneutics
List of Contributors

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